With sales managers, ‘activity’ is all the rage. How many cold calls, first appointments, and lunches did you have this week? What is the status of this and what is the status of that?
To be sure, successful salespeople are active ones. But high levels of activity alone do not produce deals. These activities have to be purposeful to work; there needs to be a mission behind them. Blitzing 100 CFOs with cold calls doesn’t lead anywhere on its own – that is purposeless.
The best method to add purpose to sales activity is campaigning. It puts focus and a mission behind what you are doing. Here is how a great can be executed by one salesperson or a by a sales manager for their team:
- Select a specific target market limited to 10 prospects or less: Working on 100 accounts at a time is the best way to do a mediocre job with all of them. Select a specific demo to pursue, e.g. all higher education with at least 5,000 enrolled students or healthcare providers with 250 or more beds. This gives you focus to a set of organizations with common problems where one message resonates with all your prospects at the same time.
- Select one service/product that fits excellently with this targeted audience: Remember, executives will listen to a message about one service, not all of them. Choose the one that will best help these organizations solve their problem and get passionate about it.
- Communicate effectively and intensely to one executive: Choose one executive and craft a message that resonates with her, asking for your first appointment. This will be specific to her role, e.g. a message to a CFO would focus on the financial benefits of your service and a message to a CIO would focus IT benefits. Use multiple contact methods (e-mail, phone, hard- copy letter) and ensure that the messaging is focused, specific and asks for meeting to present your one idea. If you strike out with one executive at an organization, move on to another one with a new targeted message.
- Track and measure: Track your success rates and adjust your selection criteria, offering and messaging to measurably improve your campaign skills over time.
When you add purpose to your activity through campaigning, you will notice that you are able to generate more activity and also increase your rate of first appointments, opportunities and closes.